Transplanted kidneys from deceased African-American donors fail more rapidly if they harbor two risk variants of the apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene as opposed to one or no risk variant.

The finding comes from a study of 136 kidney transplants involving 106 deceased African-American donors. Eight (32%) of the 25 grafts that failed over a mean 24.6 months of follow-up had two APOL1 risk variants, researchers reported in the American Journal of Graft Transplantation (2011;11:1025-1030). Overall, African ancestry did not shorten duration of graft survival.